Be prepared for your grocery shopping to become an adventure in reading!
Start your shopping around the perimeter of the store. That is where you will generally find perishable food that consists of items in their natural states-vegetables, meats, dairy, etc. Try to stay away from the middle of the store where most of the canned and processed foods reside. Your target is to purchase food that has few or no added ingredients.
When you can, buy meats and eggs from animals that have been pastured-fed, and dairy items that are organic.
Read labels!!! You are looking for items that have under 6 grams of carbohydrates and as little sugar as possible (and, certainly, under 5 grams).
If you have diabetes, remember that it is the carbohydrate grams-not the sugar-that causes large fluctuations in your glucose levels. Beware…
Probably the easiest way to “stay clean” is to buy from your neighborhood farmer’s markets (hopefully you have one). Luckily, I have access to 2-3 here in middle Tennessee. If you do not have ready access to farmer’s markets, google information about local farms. Some will be willing to sell eggs, meat, and produce to you. But, if this is economically not feasible, just go to your local grocery and buy the cleanest items available on your budget. Eating clean is not a competition or elitist test.
Another option is to buy fresh from an Amazon program. https://amzn.to/2tBpER4
Of course, if available, you can shop at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, or Whole foods for organic products. Even if you find yourself on a fixed income, all stores have weekly specials you can leverage. Many have programs allowing you to order by phone or online and pick up at the store. If you cannot drive or easily get around your neighborhood, there are grocery delivery services (Instacart, etc.). Delivery service generally comes with a fee, though.
Another option is to buy items on Amazon. They are usually competitively priced. I found items to try there; if I liked them, I later searched for them at my local supermarket to see if I could find them at a less expensive price. I was missing bread, particularly when I started keto, and the first thing I purchased was muffin mix from Diabetic Kitchen off Amazon.https://amzn.to/2MWXV6h
I have found two items from Diabetic Kitchen I routinely buy. One is the muffin mix above. The muffins have a lot of added cheese and, therefore must be refrigerated. Another item I use is the pancake and waffle mix. Both mixes are pricey at $13.99, but I like to have the option of “bread,” so I stock them. The pancake mix makes more in quantity than the muffin mix, but I like both. https://amzn.to/2WITeBl
Diabetic Kitchen has other items, as well, such as cinnamon donuts, brownies, granola, and nut butter cookies mix, but I have not used them as yet. My experience with mixes is that the items made tend to be dense. If you read the label you will find that their items are fiber-rich so that they can remain low carb.
Another brand I rely on is Quest. I regularly order their single serve tortilla chips from Amazon, and the only place I find their frozen pizzas are at Target. https://amzn.to/2U9bulT
Do not overlook the use of coupons in your shopping. Sometimes I shop at Kroger and they send me coupons at least quarterly. What’s cool about it is that Kroger bases my coupons on my past purchases, so they actually are for items I regularly buy. Using coupons should allow you to save 10-20% on your bill.
Since starting a keto lifestyle I find that I shop more often to keep perishable items always available. Always on hand items include avocados, celery, cheese, pork skins, bottled water, sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, and bacon. It is a challenge to keep finding new ways to prepare these foods, so I google them quite a bit. Although I have a few recipes I often use, I tend to use recipes I find online one time and move on.
Blogs are good for finding new ways to prepare foods, but I’m always amazed at the number of folks complaining about the lack of variety in the keto lifestyle. For me, losing weight and feeling good outweighs these complaints. Realistically, one can only be so creative, especially if you are not interested in becoming a chef or want to spend hours putting recipes together. Don’t get me wrong-I’m grateful there are people who really “get into” that aspect of the lifestyle! But, being practical and old, cooking is not where I want to spend my time. Honestly, I’d rather play with my cats and watch Alabama football!!!! Roll Tide!
So, summing up…your goal is to eat as cleanly as you can within your financial means. Everyone is perfectly capable of reading food labels and staying with the “as little sugar as possible and under 5 grams of carb” rule. Take control of your food, people…